The 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign is a great rarity. And it's a fact that in the upper quality levels it is as difficult to acquire as the 1855 Sovereign.
And yet the mintages of both coins would suggest otherwise. (1855 – 502,000. 1856 – 981,000.)
The industry has always acknowledged the scarcity of the 1856 Sovereign.
Both the '55 and '56 sovereigns have shared the same catalogue value for decades, declaring them equally as important.
Why are so many collectors pursuing a Portrait Set?
A complete sovereign collection is comprised of nearly 200 coins and that’s overwhelming for even the most financial of collectors. And potentially frustrating given the time that it would take to complete.
That’s why so many collectors take the short cut of completing a portrait set. The sense of completeness is definitely there. And the financial burden is substantially reduced.
The Australian Sovereign series ran from 1855 to 1931 and during this time eight different portraits were used, five of Queen Victoria, one of Edward VII and two of George V.
So a complete portrait set of Australian sovereigns involves only eight coins.
And why would this 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign be a great choice for the Set?
The reality is collectors only have two choices for the Type I Sydney Mint design, they being 1855 or 1856. And in high quality they are not always available.
This coin is rare. This coin is affordable. And this coin shows just the slightest wear to the high points and has retained original lustre.